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Discussion Starter #1
First off, come spring, I will be competing in my very first autoX and I have a few questions about tire/rim setup. These might be really basic questions but I have to start somewhere!

I definately want to compete in a stock class because I can't spend THAT much money on my car yet and I don't want to get hopelessly outclassed mod wise. I've been reading about the rules for the CNAC Solo classes (Canadian equivalent of SCCA?) and it looks like I can do 2 of the following 3 things (I'm allowed 2 preparation points, each of these takes 1):

1. Use an R-compound tire (how can I tell if a tire is an R-compound tire?)
2. Use a non stock width/diameter wheel
3. LSD with no final drive alteration

The only restriction with tire width is that no portion of the tread must extend beyond the outermost edge of the fender opening.

So, here are the questions:
Is there any reason why I couldn't use the stock wheels (16X6.5) and put wider than stock tires on them (maybe 215/55R16 or even 225/55/R16)? Maybe it isn't a good idea to put 225 width tires on a 6.5 width rim because of the tires would extend beyond the rims so much?

If it isn't a good idea to go any wider than 205 on the stock rims, would it be better to get 17X7 rims (takes a preparation point) and put 215/45/R17 tires on them (or maybe 225/45/R17?) or should I get 16X7 rims with 215/55/R16 (or maybe 225/55/R16) because 16X7 rims will be lighter than 17X7 rims? Or Maybe the 45 ratio tires on 17" rims be better than 55 ratio tires on 16" rims because of a smaller sidewall which might give me better handling on a tight course?

I was doing a bit of research and people seem to have nothing but good things to say about Potenza S-03s. Are these considered an R-compound tire?

I was also considering getting SSR Competitions or SSR Integrals, any comments on these rims?
 

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To be truthful . . .

I would say before you make any mods, get some professional instruction - the cost of new PP'03 tires will run you about the same as a full day with a pro driver in the seat next to you on a track. I am starting my first season of Solo2, and have opted for instruction over tires :) The tires will do you more good once you know some of the tricks to controlling your car. A good driver can do great things with a lesser vehicle, so don't worry too much about being outclassed - work on your technique first and then once you have that down worry about your vehicle.

I have already started tuning my vehicle and now am regretting it - because all the $$$ I have dumped into - intake - exhaust - springs - shifter - and looks I could have spent on almost a full week at the track with an instructor, which would have helped me a ton more than the items I put on my ride . . .

I am definately not trying to sound condescending, just trying to keep you from regretting the same mistakes that I am making :)

Good luck on the track!
 

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I was running the 225 40 18 S03's and they are great tires especially in wet conditions but are very pricey. So I have since switch to 215 45 16 Falken Azenis on my stock rims which are great tires for the price! The only prob with the falkens is that they have a limtied selection of sizes.

As for going wider on stock tires, I don't think there's a prob as long as the tires have a stiff sidewall but 225 on stock rims might be a bit too wide. Any experts wanna comment on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: To be truthful . . .

tag said:
I would say before you make any mods, get some professional instruction - the cost of new PP'03 tires will run you about the same as a full day with a pro driver in the seat next to you on a track. I am starting my first season of Solo2, and have opted for instruction over tires :) The tires will do you more good once you know some of the tricks to controlling your car. A good driver can do great things with a lesser vehicle, so don't worry too much about being outclassed - work on your technique first and then once you have that down worry about your vehicle.

I have already started tuning my vehicle and now am regretting it - because all the $$$ I have dumped into - intake - exhaust - springs - shifter - and looks I could have spent on almost a full week at the track with an instructor, which would have helped me a ton more than the items I put on my ride . . .

I am definately not trying to sound condescending, just trying to keep you from regretting the same mistakes that I am making :)

Good luck on the track!
Thanks for the advice, it wasn't condescending at all. I agree 100% that if I had to pick between mods and instruction, instruction will likely be much more valuable... but it looks like I'll have the cash to do both. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
buhda said:
I was running the 225 40 18 S03's and they are great tires especially in wet conditions but are very pricey. So I have since switch to 215 45 16 Falken Azenis on my stock rims which are great tires for the price! The only prob with the falkens is that they have a limtied selection of sizes.

As for going wider on stock tires, I don't think there's a prob as long as the tires have a stiff sidewall but 225 on stock rims might be a bit too wide. Any experts wanna comment on this?
Hehe, I was thinking of getting lower profile tires on the stock rims but I was very worried about the wheel gap, I figured it would look absolutely terrible if it wasn't lowered, which I'm not planning on doing right away.
 

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buhda said:
As for going wider on stock tires, I don't think there's a prob as long as the tires have a stiff sidewall but 225 on stock rims might be a bit too wide. Any experts wanna comment on this?
You can fit 225/50/16's without a problem - our wheels are 16x6.5. I started to have a problem with them on one course because of the angle of a few turns but my car is dropped too. If you keep it stock height, you will have zero problems. I would suggest a lower profile tire but if you are going to be driving on them is does look really silly. If you want to get real serious and not waste too much coin - run whatever setup you want on the street and keep your stick rims and put some ugly lo-pros on there in the brand of your choice. Keep your treadwear rating above 140. You might want to reconsider the lowering issue and at least go with the Eibach pro-kit to lose some body roll. It is a very minor drop.
 

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If you haven't done this before then don't worry about points and drive the car stock. You'll learn how to handle the car when the limits are low and you'll be surprised how well our car handles. I would run STS a few times then take an autox school. Then you can decide what class you want to go with. I'm still learning how to drive so I'm sticking with a class that allows only street tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
GSXR said:
If you haven't done this before then don't worry about points and drive the car stock. You'll learn how to handle the car when the limits are low and you'll be surprised how well our car handles. I would run STS a few times then take an autox school. Then you can decide what class you want to go with. I'm still learning how to drive so I'm sticking with a class that allows only street tires.
Hmm, you know, I'm getting more and more convinced that maybe I'll just stick with the stock rims and stock tire size, but I'm still going to go with summer tires instead of the all seasons. You are probably right though, it won't make much of a difference in my first year anyway since I'll probably really suck with or without mods. :)

I'll definately look this up elsewhere and I've read some good suggestions already, but anyone suggest a good summer tire which maybe isn't ultra performance but gives good performance while maintaining good treadlife?

BTW, thanks for all the suggestions so far, they've really helped!
 
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